Essay about Canadian Anthropologist And Ethnographer Shaylih Muehlmann

Essay about Canadian Anthropologist And Ethnographer Shaylih Muehlmann

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Many news headlines around the world use the term narco culture to describe the drug trafficking, the rich and powerful drug lords, the violence and murders happening in the communities of Northern Mexico. I used to think narco culture is caused by greedy drug lords, but after reading Shaylih Muehlmann’s When I Wear My Alligator Boots ethnography, I realized that drug lords are one of many byproducts of narco culture caused by the shared experiences of the men and women living in drug trafficking communities of Northern Mexico. Narco culture is a term that cannot be described in words. It is something that can only be experienced through participant observation and the cross examination of research associated with the study of narco-culture.
Canadian anthropologist and ethnographer Shaylih Muehlmann, defines her interpretation of narco culture in her ethnography When I Wear My Alligator Boots, as a subculture of the people living near the US-Mexico Border. Since 2005, Muehlmann has spent many years conducting fieldwork on several fishing communities in Northern Mexico. (Muehlmann 2014:11) These communities are at the center of the drug trafficking economy and they are used as pit stops for transporting narcotics to the United States. (Muehlamann 2014:5) From my perspective the reason Muehlamann chose these specific sites to conduct her research in are due to the media’s interpretation of narco culture. Muehlmann 's main argument in her research is that “narco culture” does not represent the media’s interpretation of a romanticized lifestyle of the rich and powerful drug lords. (Muehlamann 2014:7) She states that narco-culture represents the everyday lives of men and women in drug trafficking communities and not the lifes...


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...cking communities are forced into the drug trade is in the author’s interview with a truck driver from the Santa Rosa community named El Chibo (the Goat). El Chibo shared his past experiences working for the drug cartel by loading shipments of drugs into his truck and transporting them across the US-Mexico Border. (Muelhmann 2014:12) He tells the author that he is not working officially for the drug cartel but he was targeted due to his profession as a truck driver. El Chibo explains that he agreed to transport drugs for the cartel was the amount of money he received for every shipment and he knows that bad things will happen to him if he does not comply with the cartels demands. From my perspective, the gender roles associated in narco culture, shows the similarities, differences, and past experiences of the men and women working in the drug trafficking industry.

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